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The Lady’s Marquess: Conrad Legacy Book 1 is a Binge-Worthy Festival pick #regency #ku #giveaway



Title: The Lady’s Marquess: Conrad Legacy Book 1


Author: C.K. Mackenzie


Genre: Regency Romance


Book Blurb:


The year is 1806, the ship is The Britannia, he's a titled gentleman and she's his best friend's sister. They have 35 days between Portsmouth and Kingston, Canada. What could possibly happen?


Esme Conrad expected only one thing on her journey from England to Canada--to discover the vandal destroying her shipping company's cargo. Maybe she expected a tediously long trip as the prim and proper maiden she planned to show the other passengers, but she could handle that. What she didn't expect was her brother’s best friend to sail with her, threatening the role she played, or a murderer. Perhaps she needed a better plan.


Major Landon Carhart, the Marquess of Strachan hadn't any expectation from this transatlantic voyage. A spy sailed to French Canada, attempting to stir up support for Napoleon and stopping the man was his duty. Sure, he joined HIs Majesty's Army to mitigate the scandal surrounding his family, but duty was duty. Until he spotted Esme Conrad on deck. Duty suddenly took a back seat.


She might be his best friend’s sister, but in the middle of the Atlantic, there’s no one stopping them. Their first kiss surprises her and she craves more. Can they overcome the secrets they carry and the lies they’ve told each other, to trust and allow love a chance? Or will their duties keep them apart?


Excerpt:


“Esme.”


The way her name fell from his lips sent shivers over her skin. Far different than those times he’d used it when he and Grayson played together over their school holidays. And so very different from the “Miss Conrad” of earlier. This was a low sound, just shy of a growl. One that made her nerve endings tingle.


Panicked, though Esme rarely panicked, she grasped for the first words she could find. “How are your mother and sisters?”


Oh, that wasn’t at all what she wanted to ask. For a long breath, even the wind remained silent. Landon continued to stare down at her, his hand covering hers—and when had that happened? The warmth of his touch seeped through her gloves despite the cold day and spread like wildfire through her veins.


“They’re well.” He cleared his throat and returned his gaze to the horizon. “After I settle my business, I should see about settling their seasons.” He sighed heavily and shook his head at the weight of such responsibility. He always took his responsibilities seriously, but then, given his father’s rascally ways, Esme didn’t blame him. “However, I’m certain my mother has already planned those balls and soirees down to the last canapé.”


Esme wanted to snicker again. But, pressing her lips together, she swallowed the sound. Truly, she needed to remember the ladylike smiles she’d practiced in the carriage. They were difficult around Landon. “Hmm, yes, that sounds like her. More interested in show than substance.” Drat, she shouldn’t have said that. “I’m sorry, that was unkind.”


He laughed again, that same freeing sound that warmed her despite the February day. Her improper remarks seemed to lighten him, and that warmed Esme to the bone. “You aren’t wrong. It’s…exhausting.”


“I’m sure,” she murmured and grasped for a change in subject. “I didn’t realize Tish and Henrietta were of age.”


“It’s been a hard few years for them.” His voice lowered; the words seemed pulled from him like a painful extraction. “However, I’m determined that no more scandal lie at their feet, no matter what needs doing.”


“I’m sorry,” she whispered. Resting her other hand atop his, she stepped closer. Perhaps that hadn’t been the best change in topic. “I didn’t mean to bring up so painful a subject.”


“Ah, there you are, my lord.”


Esme stiffened and jerked around, one hand reaching for her reinforced pocket and the dagger hidden there. She hadn’t realized someone had walked up—an unusual occurrence. She always realized when someone was behind her. Her hat, forgotten in Landon’s grasp, danced merrily in the wind, and long strands of hair whipped around her throat.


Oh, yes, very ladylike. Her mother would be so disappointed. Not at her lack of decorum, per se, but at her lack of attention to her surroundings.


“Ah, Hilton.” Landon had straightened, almost as if at attention, and he nodded. His valet, Esme realized as the name registered. “I trust we’re settled?”


“Yes, my lord.” Hilton eyed her, but Esme couldn’t figure out why.


She didn’t know the man, but then she hardly knew all Landon’s staff. Wasn’t it odd for his valet to find him above deck? Not that Esme had any experience with propriety, no matter how her governesses tried.


“You wanted me to remind you of your correspondence, my lord.” Hilton looked stiff and unyielding in his role.


Esme supposed that had more to do with his newness than anything. No doubt they wouldn’t be playing Commerce on this voyage—or any other card game, by the dour look on him. Pity. Marsters was a brilliant player and a wonderful man. He must have been truly ill to not be accompanying Landon across the ocean.


“Yes, thank you, Hilton.” Landon dismissed him with a nod and turned back to Esme. “I’ll see you for supper, no doubt.”


“Yes, I’m sure.” She smiled, but the awkwardness had returned. She wished she knew the cause of it; Esme didn’t think it solely because of her own deceptive role. “Until then.”


Landon bowed deeply, far deeper than her own superficial curtsy, and turned toward the stairs. He didn’t take more than a step before he turned back, that wide smile on his lips again. The same one that made her blood race.


“Your hat, my lady.”


She’d forgotten about it. Laughing, she accepted it as if he offered her a grand jewel. “Thank you for rescuing the poor thing. I’m afraid it doesn’t much enjoy this wind.”


“It was my pleasure, I assure you.” He bowed again and disappeared below deck.


Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):


Free to read on Kindle Unlimited!





What’s the first binge-worthy book you read and why was it a must-read?


The first one? Um…I’ve no idea! I read so much and I’ve used the library for so many books (long before Goodreads or StoryGraph) I can’t remember all I’ve read! The very very first might’ve been a Sweet Valley High (does that date me?!) or maybe a Star Trek: The Next Generation book series. Jude Deveraux’s Montgomery/Taggert series? All of the above?


Most recently I’ve binged both Darcy Burke’s The Untouchables series and Tessa Dare’s Castles Ever After series.


What makes your featured book a binge-worthy read?


It’s book 1 in a series about the Conrad Siblings as they find adventure and love while searching for French spies during the Napoleonic Wars.


Giveaway –


One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon gift card



Open internationally.


Runs August 1 – 31, 2023.


Drawing will be held on September 1, 2023.


Author Biography:


Regency Romance writer. Prefers the beach. Lover of tea, pizza, and all things Corgi. I update my social media sites with way too much research I'll never fit into a book.


Social Media Links:


3 Comments


andreadrake1
andreadrake1
Sep 01, 2023

My most binge worthy author right now is Erin R. Flynn.

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Rita Wray
Rita Wray
Aug 18, 2023

Love the cover.

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N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Aug 18, 2023

Thank you, CK, for sharing your book in our Binge-Worthy Book Festival!

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